The Riverbank: A Poem by Jayashree Bhattacherjee

Below flowed quickly the clear water, above sat the monk on the riverbank
Watching the dazzling Western sky, as beyond the horizon the sun sank
Red, orange, pink, and gold turned the evening sky into a painted canvas
Playfully the rays danced off the shimmering surfaces of the river, so gracious
Sitting alone he was thinking of meditating in a place so serene and calm
Suddenly someone tiptoed to the bank and into the river she did jump
The monk dived into the river with frantic haste
How could he let a human life go to such a waste?
He reached down, caught hold of the outstretched hand, pulled her up
Laid her down on the bank saving her from the river rough
The lassie opened her eyes and said,” I’m a fallen flower, fallen from grace
Begrimed ‘n bemired, I have no place to hide my face”.
He said, “My child, silently sit on the bank for some time and watch the deep murmuring river
Though struggling through twists and turns, it flows forever
Make your life like a river, move ahead, never look back
Shake the dust off your feet, you’ve done no wrong, nothing you lack
I know your grief is like a river, let it flow
But you yourself determine where the banks will go.”
Said she, “Grateful I’m to you, yes, grief’s river is a process of relinquishing the past
Now by swimming in hope’s channel, I believe someday I’ll reach the shore at last “.